IAF Choppers Pour Over 2.60 Lakh Litres of Water to Control Mt. Abu Wildfire
Image for Representational Purposes. (Photo Credits - Reuters)
The fire broke out on Friday morning in Mount Abu close to the famous sunset and honeymoon point prompting the district administration to rope in one suitably modified IAF MI-17VS helicopter.
Jaipur: In a massive operation, the Indian Air Force (IAF) poured more than 2,60,000 litres of water in 100 sorties to control a wildfire in Rajasthan's Mount Abu.
Two MI-17V5 helicopters resumed the operation on Sunday morning amid reports of fresh fires. By afternoon, the aircraft had already undertaken 19 shuttles, delivering over 53,000 litres of water since morning. The fire around Arna village was reported to be dangerously close to inhabited area.
The fire broke out on Friday morning in Mount Abu close to the famous sunset and honeymoon point prompting the district administration to rope in suitably modified IAF MI-17VS helicopter.
"Wing Commander Thiagaraman and Squadron Leader Praveen Tiwari had flown 73 sorties since morning today dropping over 1,82,000 liters over the areas in the immediate vicinity of the town," Defence Spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha had said on Saturday night.
He said that the places under fire close to inhabited areas were given the priority in the fire-fighting operation.
Thousands of tourists from within Rajasthan, the neighbouring state of Gujarat and other parts of the country visit Mount Abu during summers.
Tourists have been asked to avoid going to sunset point and honeymoon point till the flames are doused fully.
"The fire was not very far from sunset point and honeymoon point yesterday (Friday) so both the places were evacuated. Besides these two, there are other tourist points in Mount and they are unaffected," Circle Officer Abu Parvat Vijay Pal Singh said.
Besides, boating activity in Nakki lake has been restricted as the helicopters are fetching water from the lake. The lake is located in the middle of the town, nestled between the hills.
The Circle Officer said that the fire in forests is a reccurring phenomenon but it was a massive fire this time.
"Reason of the fire is not clear but bamboo trees in the forest sometimes cause wildfire while some locals fetch honey and for they ignite fire for this process which can also lead to the fire in the forest," Singh said.
Located 1,722 meters above the sea level and situated amidst the lush green hills on the highest point of the Aravali range, Mount Abu is the home to lakes, waterfalls and green forests and many religious monuments.
(With PTI inputs)